Attending the RI Convention (virtually)

Rotary members watch the debut of Rotary’s VR film, “One Small Act” at the Atlanta Convention.

By Bill Pollard, Rotary Club of Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, and past governor of District 7600

It would be wonderful if every Rotarian could experience at least one Rotary International Convention. It is a great venue to hear from our leaders, listen to keynote speakers, learn useful information at breakout sessions, and visit with Rotary Fellowships and Action Groups in the House of Friendship. Of course, the best part of attending a convention is the opportunity to enjoy fellowship with Rotarians from all over the world. Continue reading

Special bell cast to ring in The Rotary Foundation’s next century

The Rotary Foundation Centennial Bell. Photo by Danilo Di Nucci

By Francesco Bruno, Communications Specialist, RI Staff

While we still need to use our fantasy to search for that hidden gateway that can launch us into the future, finding one that takes you back in history is at our reach if you happen to be at the right place, at the right time. Upon entering the large wooden door of the Marinelli Foundry in the hilltop city of Agnone, Italy, it took only a few seconds to feel like I was stepping back in time. The  scene I witnessed was one my ancestors could have observed a thousand years ago. Continue reading

Rotary members fight human trafficking

By Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

It is estimated that human trafficking generates $40 billion annually. That’s more than McDonald’s, Google’s, and Wal-mart’s profits combined.

Human trafficking, especially the commercial sexual exploitation of children, is a major problem. Continue reading

Kids can change the world too

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Stagehands adjusted the microphones as low as they could go and slid a box into place. And then 10-year-old volunteer leader Lucía Gómez García of Argentina stepped up to the podium to tell Rotary members that kids her age can make positive change in the world.

“As kids we are relentless and happy,” said Lucía, addressing the Rotary Convention on 7 June. “We are always ready to explore and learn, but principally we’re spontaneous and clear. We don’t have problems to say if we don’t like anything. To tell the truth is natural and when we don’t do so, everyone knows, because we blush.” Continue reading

Rethinking the way we manage water

150606_wasragBy Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

One of the world’s largest cities, São Paulo is located in a region that averages 145 centimeters (57.3 inches) of precipitation each year. That’s 64 more centimeters (25 more inches) than Seattle gets. The country is also home to roughly 12 percent of the world’s fresh water. But since 2014, the city has been gripped by its worst drought in 80 years, leaving millions of residents in the country’s most populated metropolis without reliable running water. Continue reading

Interactors aim to score a goal with soccer ball project

Interactors from California show off a  high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

Interactors from California show off a high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Soccer is not just a passion for Brazilians, it’s a way of life. It’s tradition. Entire industries are dedicated to the sport.

So it came as no surprise to me to walk by a booth in the House of Friendship and see people kicking a ball around. But these were no ordinary soccer balls. They’re made from high-tech indestructible rubber. You can puncture a hole in one of these balls or cut it down the middle, and it will still be playable. Continue reading

Enjoy Ivete Sangalo’s music at the Closing Plenary Session

Ivete Sangalo

Ivete Sangalo

Brazilian music superstar Ivete Sangalo, a Latin Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, will perform at the closing plenary session of the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo, 9 June. Sangalo’s music is a high-energy fusion of Afro-Brazilian sounds called axé. She made her recording debut as lead singer of the group Banda Eva in 1993 on the album Banda Eva Ao Vivo, which included the 1994 carnival hit “Adeus Bye Bye.” After leaving Banda Eva, Sangalo made her solo album debut in 1999 and has since topped the charts with several albums and won numerous musical accolades.

Continue reading

Get the most out of the convention with our mobile app

150518_mobileapp2Plan your schedule, get the latest update on featured speakers and entertainment, download session handouts, and connect with friends using our convention mobile app. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned convention goer, this app will help you get the most out of your convention experience. You’ll be able to:

  • Navigate the convention venue and House of Friendship with interactive maps
  • Create a schedule of events and sessions
  • Upload your photos to the convention photo album
  • Rate sessions and provide feedback to convention organizers

You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the app. Once you’ve downloaded it, the information remains available to you offline. Download it for free in iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry.

Learn how India became polio-free

Dr. Hamid Jafari

Dr. Hamid Jafari

You’ll have a chance to hear from one of the masterminds behind India’s successful drive to become polio-free during the Rotary convention in São Paulo, 6-9 June. Dr. Hamid Jafari will deliver the keynote speech of the Monday, 8 June, plenary session. As a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with the World Health Organization, Jafari led the polio eradication project in India from 2007 to 2012. India’s polio cases dropped from hundreds each year when he took the job to zero in 2011. India was officially declared polio-free in 2014 after a three-year certification period. Continue reading